State law addresses at least one component of a comprehensive sex education curriculum, appropriate to grade level.
South Carolina Code of Laws 59-32-10. Definitions.
(2) “Reproductive health education” means instruction in human physiology, conception, prenatal care and development, childbirth, and postnatal care, but does not include instruction concerning sexual practices outside marriage or practices unrelated to reproduction except within the context of the risk of disease. Abstinence and the risks associated with sexual activity outside of marriage must be strongly emphasized.
(3) “Family life education” means instruction intended to:
- (a) develop an understanding of the physical, mental, emotional, social, economic, and psychological aspects of close personal relationships and an understanding of the physiological, psychological, and cultural foundations of human development;
- (b) provide instruction that will support the development of responsible personal values and behavior and aid in establishing a strong family life for themselves in the future and emphasize the responsibilities of marriage.
- (c) provide instruction as to the laws of this State relating to the sexual conduct of minors, including criminal sexual conduct.
(4) "Pregnancy prevention education" means instruction intended to:
- (a) stress the importance of abstaining from sexual activity until marriage;
- (b) help students develop skills to enable them to resist peer pressure and abstain from sexual activity;
- (c) explain methods of contraception and the risks and benefits of each method. Abortion must not be included as a method of birth control. Instruction explaining the methods of contraception must not be included in any education program for grades kindergarten through fifth. Contraceptive information must be given in the context of future family planning.
South Carolina Code of Laws 59-32-20. Selection or adoption of instruction units by state board required.
(A) Before August 1, 1988, the board, through the department, shall select or develop an instructional unit with separate components addressing the subjects of reproductive health education, family life education, pregnancy prevention education, and sexually transmitted diseases and make the instructional unit available to local school districts. The board, through the department, also shall make available information about other programs developed by other states upon request of a local school district.
South Carolina Standard for Health and Safety Education
Standard 1. Grade 5. Reproductive health instruction is permitted before grade six at the option of local school boards (§59-32-30(A)(1)). ♦♦ Family life and pregnancy-prevention instruction is permitted in grades six, seven, and eight at the option of local school boards; sexually transmitted infections and diseases (STIs/STDs)-prevention and reproductive health instruction is required in these three grades (§59-32-30(A)(2)). A locally-appointed thirteen-member Comprehensive Health Education Advisory Committee reviews and approves local materials used for instruction in reproductive health, family life, and STD/STI and pregnancy prevention.
G-5.1.3 Describe the physical, emotional, and social changes that occur in puberty and adolescence (e.g., changes in voice; growth of body and facial hair; sensitivity to peer influence; mood swings).